Lights! Cameras!! Action!!
The producer just waved their hand. You’re on the air. Now is the time for all good talk show internet hosts to get on the air with a positive surge to their voice.
Right, wrong, perhaps…
Not all talk show internet hosts operate alike. Some come prepared. Know what they’re going to say, how they’re going to say it, and will say it with that special know-how that comes to them easily.
There are to other talk show hosts that have prepared for their big day(s) with a script in hand. They glance at it from time to time, not exactly reading it but knowing where to pause, take a gulp of air, and then peruse their script to finish up the conversation, dialogue, introduction, or ending to the story or show.
And then there are the dregs of the barrel who believe that by reading their script that the audience won’t know because they can’t see the host(s) reading directly from their script or teleprompter.
But, these hosts are fooling themselves. The audience knows when someone is following a script, helping themselves to 3 by 5 index cards, and outright reading of several pages of triple-spacing from a prepared text.
How do these listeners know this?
listening to a prepared speech is like listening to someone who has read their verbiage from a prepared script.
Have you ever interviewed a guest who already knows the answers to the questions beforehand? Remember this the next time a guest asks you for the questions before the interview, and listen to what happens.
The audience already knows that this material was prepared beforehand, and they don’t have to listen to it because they have already heard it before.
When you go on the internet to do your first-time research, most hosts will search for the standard questions that many people ask to get them started. You know which ones they are, but let me refresh your memory.
What made you start writing?
How old were you when you started writing?
What do you love most about writing?
Who influenced you to right?
Do you have your spouse’s approval? family? friends?
And, so it goes. Generic questions that anyone can answer easily without really having to work hard at it. And, if you listen close enough, the answers given by your guests will pretty much sound the same.
Do you really want that for your audience?
Once again, this year
PWRNetwork was invited by The International Miami Book Festival to come down for an extended weekend and interview authors from all over the world.
The interview times are 10 minutes each. There’s allot of questions a host can ask within a 10 minute period without using the classic questions from above. First you’ve got to introduce yourself, your station, and your author plus their book, then you launch into your questions. If you’ve listened carefully when you introduced your author, you can tell whether or not this author has read their book and is ready for an interview.
Usually you ask a question about the book itself to break the ice, then you listen to what the author has to say. From there you go on. Always make sure you save enough time for the author to brag about themselves, talk promotion and marketing of their book, and where their next interview is taking place. Only then can you ask one classical question like, “What’s the name of your next book and when is it coming out?”
That’s the only classical question you should be asking.
What about if the author veers to the sameness of questions because it’s safer. Then, do it without sounding trite. “The customer is always right!”
The interview is about the “author” not you.
As long as you remember that, you both will score victory for both sides!